Tag Archives: knife crime

2 November 2018 – today’s press releases

It’s a sign of how much is going on ‘under the radar’ whilst Brexit unfolds that, of today’s press releases, only one is obviously Brexit-related…

Cost of Brexit spiralling out of control

Responding to the Government’s admission that Operation Brock will now cost £30 million, £10 million more than was previously stated, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Brexit, Tom Brake MP said:

The cost of Brexit is continuing to spiral out of control. The Conservative Government’s plan to turn Kent into a car park, Operation Brock, is now costing the tax payer an additional ten million more than the figure they gave in the

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LISTEN: To Pauline Pearce talking about finding productive outlets for anger on Woman’s Hour

Liberal Democrat Federal Board member and Hackney mayoral candidate Pauline Pearce was on Woman’s Hour yesterday talking about how she channeled her anger into her campaign against knife crime.

She talked about how she was so angry that the 2011 riots had stopped her doing her community radio show, her escape from chemotherapy and radiotherapy and focus for her campaign. That’s what motivated her to rail against the unfocused

She had been campaigning on knife crime long before her son became victm to it. She described how her personal experience intensified her anger and she had to “put the sensible hat on.”

Her involvement in politics and the Liberal Democrats gave her a bigger platform to campaign on and an understanding of how things worked that helped her anger to be put to productive use.

Listen here from around 25 minutes in.

And if you want more Pauline, listen to her Ted Talk from 6 years ago:

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Knife Crime

Tories cheered when a reduction in Police budget was announced. Conservatives were going to cut funding, and the Police were going to keep their coverage and levels of activities by better utilisation of their resources. Even when the Police warned that crime would go up with the proposed cuts, the budgets were reduced. The consequence has been an increase in crime. Eventually, the Tories will have an epiphany that if they provide more funding to the Police, they will have more resources to fight crime. They never learn.

Knife crime went down from 2011 to 2015. But in 2017 alone it went up by 22% from 2016, and this was across the country, the 22% equates to just under 40,000 offences. There are many suggestions as to why there has been an increase in knife crime. Government critics have sited reduction in stop and search, closing down of children centres and cuts in the number of Police officers. In England and Wales, there are 21,000 fewer police officers now than there were in 2010 and in that same period council spending on Youth services has fallen by more than £750 million.

Others suggestions relate to drug and gang wars being the reason why youngsters carry knife. Social media is another reason given because these youngsters can have a massive following on platforms like Facebook and with significant followers backing down is not seen as an option.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 5 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon writes… Action, not rhetoric, on knife crime

When it comes to knife crime there appears to be two default settings that most Westminster politicians adopt.

The first is to turn a blind eye to the issue for large periods of time.

For example in London during the six week General Election period, 26th March to 8th May, there were 789 victims of serious youth violence, 1,231 victims of knife crime and 441 victims of knife crime with injury.  That’s 40 a day.

Yet despite these figures the issue was almost entirely ignored.   Few politicians campaigned on the issue or wanted to talk about it.

The second position for Westminster politicians is to suddenly take a very short term interest, but to be totally obsessed with the idea that ‘fixed term’ sentences are the only solution.   

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Julian Huppert MP writes: We need effective action on knife crime

Florence With Knife 1There is a problem with knife crime. Too many of our fellow citizens suffer from knife attacks, and even more live in fear of being attacked with a knife. Even though fewer people are carrying knives, too many still are.

The Tory response to this, backed by Labour, has been to rush into legislation forcing judges to impose a mandatory jail sentence for anyone who is found in possession of a knife twice.

To deal effectively with the problem we should try to understand why people are carrying them.

Most of …

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Lib Dem opposition to mandatory jail terms for second knife offences show our principles are intact

The Court House - Warwick - Coat of ArmsThe Lib Dems have sold our soul, abandoning all principle, since going into Coalition – so goes up the cry from the party’s detractors, both internal and the very many beyond.

That trite claim doesn’t sit very comfortably with the party’s actions today, voting against Labour and Conservative MPs’ united support of mandatory jail terms for any adult convicted in England or Wales of a second offence involving a knife. As the BBC reports:

Conservative MP Nick de Bois championed the policy, which won

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: This knife crime law won’t work

Police motorbike - Some rights reserved by Metropolitan PoliceOn Monday, I wrote about the reported Coalition tension over Tory plans to bring in mandatory 6 month jail sentences for carrying a knife. I said that:

It’s important that Liberal Democrats stay in this debate and make the evidence-based case. Nobody else will do it for us. We may not be able to stop a bad law being passed, but we need to oppose it calmly, clearly and without rancour.

I would not suggest for a minute that the two events …

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Could Labour and Tories unite to pass tougher knife crime sentencing? How should Liberal Democrats react?

FSI working at crime sceneLast Friday, Joe Otten wrote about the leak of letters  revealing that the Liberal Democrats were opposing Tory plans to introduce a six month mandatory sentence for those convicted a second time for carrying a knife.

Today’s Daily Mail makes two claims. The first is that Labour is getting ready to “humiliate” the Liberal Democrats by siding with the Tories and they could pass this together. Secondly, they say that Nick Clegg was “bouncing off the walls” when he discovered the leak.

We know from the feature on

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Knife crime leaks reveal coalition battle over mandatory sentencing

The Court House - Warwick - Coat of ArmsLetters between government ministers debating whether a second offence of carrying a knife should attract a mandatory prison sentence have been leaked to the Daily Mail. The timing of these leaks must suggest an attempt by some Conservatives to exploit the appalling murder of Anne Maguire for political ends.

It may be a little less precise, but I am reporting this as ‘second offence of possession’, because more serious knife-related offences attract mandatory prison sentences already, including the offence, new in 2012, of …

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Norman Lamb writes: Tackling gun and knife crime – hospitals and police working together

nhs sign lrgTrying to make different departments work effectively with each other is a challenge that all Governments face, and this one is no different. It could be all too easy for objectives that fall between two departments to end up falling through the cracks.

That is why I am pleased to report on the efforts we are taking in the Department of Health to roll out the ‘Cardiff model’. This is a very simple measure that can have a dramatic impact on knife crime in an area.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto included …

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